If it’s not you, chances are you know someone who is: a friend or colleague that seems to be in a relationship, whereby they put in all the effort and seemingly get little in return. Maybe the other person is a narcissist, or a commitment-phobe due to past treatment, or maybe they’re just not as into the relationship as the other person. Regardless of the reason, the relationship is one-sided, and the burdens that fall upon the load-bearer can seem insurmountable.
As someone who has recently (read: the last two months) come out of such a relationship, I can certainly see both sides of the story; she was everything I ever wanted, and everything I never knew I needed. When it was just us, it was amazing. We had plans for the future, and had commitments together – holidays, family engagements, etc. However, that apparently wasn’t enough. We weren’t enough. And, for quite a time, it seemed like I wasn’t enough, despite everything I did. On-again, off-again; are we, are we not? Why am I invited to her family gatherings, and why do we act like we’re a couple, when she won’t commit again?
However, once the decision was made to finally end it, I made a choice to accept it, make a (reasonably) clear break, and move forward rather than lament what could have been. Don’t get me wrong: I still love her, her family and her friends, and I genuinely want nothing more than for her to be happy; we never argued, we never fought. But in the end it wasn’t meant to be. And since it’s happened, so many things have changed so rapidly, that it wasn’t until this weekend that I realised how much it WASN’T working, and how much of myself I’d sacrificed in the blind belief that it was meant to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter, and I’m not trying to act out the martyr; rather, I want to give my side of a story, in the hope that others can relate. This situation happens to both guys and girls equally too, so hopefully this comes across that way.
Does this sound like you? If so, read on, because the next few points might ring true for you as well. And so, without further adieu, I present to you my five signs that you’re in a one-sided relationship (and what can change afterwards):
1. You can’t fathom a future without them, and nobody compares to them
*cue Sinead O’Connor*
Everybody else pales in comparison. You look around the bar or restaurant, and all you see is mediocrity; you have perfection personified sitting across the table from you, and you KNOW that everybody else in the room knows it too, and are green with envy. Don’t bother forming an orderly queue people, because I’m going to win; we were destined to be together, and while it’s hard at the moment, and that commitment is an issue, it’ll be ok. This will be totally worth it. Just you watch.
After: That girl from the cafe that I get my coffee from every morning? She’s actually pretty cute, and she remembered that it’s my birthday. Why haven’t I noticed her before? That guy from HR that always smiles while you’re walking past to grab your prints? He came up and spoke to you this morning, and he’s got quite the charm. OMG I’m walking through the Westfield and there’s HUNDREDS of ridiculously-attractive people! Take your rose-coloured glasses off, and suddenly you’ll realise that beauty is all around you, takes all forms, and is in fact right in front of you; you’ve just been too blind to notice.
2. You stop making plans, in the hope that you’ll do something with them
It’s Wednesday afternoon and everyone’s making plans for Friday night (because FORWARD-THINKING); however, you can’t commit, because you’re assuming (hoping?) that your significant other wants to do something with you, or they vaguely alluded to possibly going and seeing a movie. As you’ve told them before, you’d rather do nothing with them than something with anyone else. However, Friday arvo rolls around, and suddenly they have plans and can’t do anything anymore, because the work crew has a bowls day they forgot about; also, it’s too late to jump on board the plans of your friends, because all the tickets have been bought. Rinse and repeat: week in, week out. Eventually, your friends stop asking.